DOI: 10.1101/469536Nov 14, 2018Paper

A mathematical framework for modelling the metastatic spread of cancer

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Linnea C FranssenMark A J Chaplain


Cancer is a complex disease that starts with mutations of key genes in one cell or a small group of cells at a primary site in the body. If these cancer cells continue to grow successfully and, at some later stage, invade the surrounding tissue and acquire a vascular network (tumour-induced angiogenesis), they can spread to distant secondary sites in the body. This process, known as metastatic spread, is responsible for around 90% of deaths from cancer and is one of the so-called hallmarks of cancer. To shed light on the metastatic process, we present a mathematical modelling framework that captures for the first time the interconnected processes of invasion and metastatic spread of individual cancer cells in a spatially explicit manner - a multi-grid, hybrid, individual-based approach. This framework accounts for the spatio-temporal evolution of mesenchymal- and epithelial-like cancer cells, as well as MT1-MMP and MMP-2 dynamics, and interactions with the extracellular matrix. Using computational simulations, we demonstrate that our model captures all the key steps of the invasion-metastasis cascade, i.e. invasion by both heterogeneous cancer cell clusters and by single mesenchymal-like cancer cells; intravasation of these clu...Continue Reading

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Malignant Neoplasms
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Cessation of Life
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